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Accident description
Last updated: 28 May 2016
Date:Saturday 14 May 1977
Time:09:33 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-321C
Operating for:IAS Cargo
Leased from:Dan-Air Services
Registration: G-BEBP
C/n / msn: 18579/332
First flight: 1963
Total airframe hrs:47621
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Total:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:3,7 km (2.3 mls) W of Lusaka Airport (LUN) (   Zambia)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Nairobi International Airport (NBO/HKNA), Kenya
Destination airport:Lusaka Airport (LUN/FLLS), Zambia
The aircraft departed Nairobi (NBO) at 07:17 for the final leg of a London-Heathrow - Athens - Nairobi - Lusaka cargo flight. Boeing 707 G-BEBP proceeded to Lusaka at FL310. At 09:07 the flight was cleared to descend to FL110. This altitude was reached at 09:23, 37nm DME from Lusaka. A clearance was then given to descend further down to FL70 in 1000 feet steps. At 09:28 the co-pilot reported that the airfield was in sight. Lusaka then cleared the aircraft to descend to 6000 feet (2221 feet above runway elevation) and moments later a clearance was given to make a visual approach for runway 10. At 09:32 flaps were selected to 50 degrees. Suddenly, at 09:33, the complete right-hand horizontal stabilizer and elevator assembly were seen to separate in flight. The aircraft pitched rapidly nose down and dived vertically into the ground from a height of about 800 feet. The main wreckage was located 3660 m from the runway threshold.

CAUSE: "The accident was caused by a loss of pitch control following the in-flight separation of the right hand horizontal stabilizer and elevator as a result of a combination of metal fatigue and inadequate failsafe design in the rear spar structure. Shortcomings in design assessment, certification and inspection procedures were contributory factors.

Wing failure
Loss of control


Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) - United Kingdom
report status: Final
report number: AAIB AAR 9/1978
download report: Report on the accident to Boeing 707 321C, G-BEBP near Lusaka International Airport, Zambia, 14 May 1977 (AAIB AAR 9/1978)


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Nairobi International Airport to Lusaka Airport as the crow flies is 1806 km (1129 miles).

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